Fresher Survival Kit – Cheap Gift Idea

Fresher Survival Kit
This is a gift hamper I’d loved to have received from anyone when I left home for uni. I had no idea what to take with me and what I’d need and didn’t have to money to buy some of the essentials. I’ve had lots of cousins going off to uni in the past few years so I’ve made a few Fresher Survival Kits, which have been gratefully received. If you’re careful and thoughful they can cost far less than a more traditional moving out gift plus the items really are useful.

Some of the items in there might seem a bit weird but honestly they all applied to my first semester of university at one point or another. Also, this isn’t a ‘must have’ list (I’ve already done one of those) just a small gift, so I don’t want to overload it with essential items they may already have packed.

Package it up in something useful that they can use in their room in halls. I use different things depending on the recipent. I’ve used small sets of storage drawers from Ikea, wash bags, a saucepan, laptop case and even a laundry bag. Students tend only to have limted space so I like to make sure the ‘hamper’ itself is useful and fit for a purpose too.

 Fresher Survival Kit

What to include?
Well, obviously students aren’t all the same so you can use your common sense and pick out a few items you know will be helpful and specific to them but listed below are some more useful and generic items I’ve included in a lot of the hampers I have given. Obviously you don’t have to include them all.

- Eye mask – Halls can be an odd place to try and catch some sleep because everyone has a different body clock/has injested drugs. The lights would constantly be switched on and off in our hallway and I didn’t get a wink of proper sleep until I bought an eye mask. These ones are 99p and these ones are customisable and are around the £3 mark.
- Ear plugs – see above but with noise.
- Painkillers of some kind
- Cold and flu medicine – everyone gets freshers flu. Everyone.
- Post it notes
- Condoms – I mainly like to give these to my younger cousins just to watch their faces go red. It’s fun.
- Teabags/coffee/sachets of hot chocolate
- Multivitamins

in her hot melon
 - Oh and this may sound really silly but the amount of drunken bonding fun I had with my MA flatmates over a cheap pack of word magnets was amazing. You can get a packet of rude word magnets in most gift shops but we found it much more fun to make innocent words dirty and funny. They were something like this pack from eBay. We still have them on our fridge now and I abuse my husband with them daily. Marital bliss.
- Photos
- Plasters/band aids – whatever you want to call them.
- Facepaint or some kind of fancy dress
- Breakfast bars
- Spices – they make it easy to pep up the most dull two-weeks-until-my-loan-comes-through-and-all-I-have-is-beans meals.
- Blutack
- 20p pieces for the laundry
- Fairylights from Poundland – Mine are still going 10 years after I first bought them.
- A USB memory stick, I’ve used this eBay seller a number of times for bargain memory sticks and the fastest delivery ever.
- Mini manicure kit – One of my cousins said this was one of the most useful going away gifts she was given. I think this is the one I got her but you can pick them up in most chemists.

 What would you include in your ultimate Fresher Survival Kit?

P.S. Sorry my Wednesday post didn’t publish, I’ve been having problems with Blogger all week. I will save it up and publish it next Wednesday. Clean ovens, ooooh yeah, I bet you cannot wait. Am I right? I’m right.

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  1. This is the cutest idea, i need this for when i go on Monday. I think you’ve got everything covered!

    Sophierosehearts x

  2. We have fridge scrabble. Only used to make rude words. Marmite went into 99.9% of my student dinners, it’s a fresher must have.

  3. Such a lovely idea and so useful! I’m jealous of the freshers that receive these hampers from you, I want to be a fresher again!

  4. I tended to (haven’t done it in a while) send people off with a box of kitchen cupboard essentials that they didn’t realise they’d need until they started cooking properly for themselves.

  5. Really cute idea! I’ve got my Olbas Oil at the ready for next week! Oh and teabags, everyone needs excessive amounts of these! x

  6. i’ve got freshers flu right now hahaha! Oh my, how this would come in handy.

  7. This is such a good idea! I didn’t get one myself, but it’s something I would have appreciated! I was actually really organised and started collecting a few bits even month, when I’d been paid in the run up to going to University! But you always miss something out!. You’re so right about Freshers flu too, don’t think I knew anyone who didn’t get it!. I also wish I could just spend 20p on Laundry – it cost me £2 for a wash and another £1 if I wanted to dry it! An airer is the best thing to by to cut down costs on washing definitely!. :)
    Lovely post,

  8. I’ve just spent all day packing, I felt like crying when I realised I would actually have to find a way to move all those bags from the airport to my flat. Damn Glasgow, being so far away!

  9. This is such an amazing idea! I’m not leaving my hometown for uni, but I would be realllyyy grateful to receive this if I was!

  10. When I went to uni many moons ago my sister gave me a shoebox which she’d decorated. Inside I found a mini first aid kit, condoms, cold and flu tablets and a plethora of product samples from magazines etc. It was one of the best presents I’d received for sure!

  11. Such a sweet idea, your cousins are lucky! Ha ha I love the condoms idea, just to see their faces- very cruel :)
    Daniella x

  12. Definitely a great idea – will be putting this to good use next year when one of my dearest girls goes of to uni. With maybe a simple recipe book as well :)

  13. Inspired. A neice and son’s girlfriend off to Uni, next weekend, so will get to making up a couple of freshers survival boxes. Love it. I would add some disinfectant wipes to possibly limit the number of germs in the kitchen and loo, although new students are likely to be protected by excess spirits in their blood stream.

  14. I am so inspired! Loads of my friends are off to unix and I knew I wanted to send them things but I had no idea what, you my dear are a genius! xx

  15. I like this! my cousin is moving to Manchester at the weekend for uni, i shall prepare a fresher survival kit for her.

  16. Such a good idea. Wish someone had made me something like this when I went to uni! I probably had most of these things anyway but it would have been super handy to have them all in one box/bag as opposed to rifling through all of my belongings when the need for blutack/plasters/condoms (hahah) arose.

  17. Thats a great idea :) xxx

  18. I remember wishing I had some cheap (but nice) curtains as the halls of residence ones were awful – it didn’t occur to me at all until I got there that a different pair of curtains would make it feel more homely.

    Lisa @

  19. I read this earlier today and have been inspired to make one for my brother! He’s off to Loughborough in a couple of weeks and I’ve been out to buy him the things on your list. I’m getting quite emotional about him going so I think I’ll include a little letter explaining the reason behind each thing and a little good luck note. Thank you for this post! xx

  20. I would add in a packet of sweets or a bar of chocolate and maybe some small sample sizes of a nice shower gel or something as a pick me up if they feel down/ill/hungover! :)

  21. Haha, I love this, I already have the black and pink eye mask with the words Sweet Dreams across it!

  22. My brothers off to Cambridge at the end of the month and I was thinking of doing something but wasn’t sure what. Will definately make one of these for him, thank you! Am starting to dread it now :/

  23. I LOVE this! So true!


  24. I made a fresher’s survival pack for my friend a couple of years ago who was going to uni and she absolutely loved it – I wish someone had made me one when I joined her a couple of years later! (: I think I included some washing powder samples too – always helpful! And post-it notes – a student must have! x

  25. Daimn I don’t even what all the pieces in the mini mani set do o.O
    I love making (and receiving) packages with all kinds of stuff as a gift!

  26. Years ago I gave our baby sitter 6 mugs, tea, coffee, sugar and some spoons. I thought it would be a good way to meet the others in her hall of residence. Your ideas are far more fun and I will bear them in mind when nieces and nephews go away.

  27. This is brilliant, I’ve jus started my gap year- but all of my friends are leaving to go to university at the end of this week, and I really didn’t know what to get them! This is perfect! :)

  28. This is brilliant, I’ve jus started my gap year- but all of my friends are leaving to go to university at the end of this week, and I really didn’t know what to get them! This is perfect! :)

  29. Such a lovely idea, I’d include hankies and socks (you only complain about them as gifts when you have to buy them yourself in my experience!

  30. I’ve done a similar version with food items- adding a few bits and pieces that are little luxuries (favourite sweeties/particular spices or herbs/a new nail polish etc) can be a good personal touch, and fancy dress items are definitely an epic idea for this. I went with none…. V stupid.

  31. This is such a good idea, could do many different versions, i.e if the person was going on holiday or girls night in box maybe a night out survival kit! xx

  32. I would add some kind of general antibacterial household cleaner for girls going off to uni – I remember cleaning every surface in my rented room when going to uni – and I am soo not an OCD kind of person! Also, maybe a little treat like a mini box of posh chocolates for when it all gets too much and some time hiding under the duvet eating chocolate is needed. BTW, so glad you didn’t manage to post the oven cleaning blog post as I really didn’t want to clean my oven this week!!! xx

  33. I would include pro plus and/or energy drinks because I practically lived on these for the first couple of weeks…theres just so much going on that I hardly got chance to sleep at all! This is a really great idea though….we got little welcome packs from our halls when we moved in with condoms, box of cereal, note pad etc…but yours is much better :]

  34. wow thank you so much! i’ve jotted down everything i need from this post. must get fairy lights from poundland! i’ve been searching for this item for AGES! thanks for the recommendation.

  35. Loo roll, you’d be surprised how many people don’t bring their own loo roll.
    And an academic diary. It was a life saver for me because I didn’t forget to do stuff!
    But yes, having your own little medical kit is really helpful.
    I only wish someone had thought to give me something like this when I started uni.

  36. This is a really cute idea! From experience, I’d also include a pack/tin of sweets they can put in the kitchen upon arrival to bond with fellow housemates, a pack of cards (for the all important game ‘ring of fire’) and some drawing pins as halls often have large notice boards in the rooms!

  37. Where is the panda eye mask from? I NEED ONE!! x

  38. What about tissues for when they get homesick?

  39. I’ve been at uni for a week now and seriously wish I had some of this stuff!:) Oh and yes, you’re right, everyone does get freshers flu! :(

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